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Showing posts from August, 2011

The Loser Spirit Series: Children and the Loser Spirit

Children and the Loser Spirit by Bougie Girl Apparel
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People are not born with the Loser Spirit. However, they can be born into  family environments in which the Loser Spirit is present. Growing up in a household filled with abuse and/or other negative influences can bring the Loser Spirit into the life of child.
However, there are other situations which make children more susceptible to the Loser Spirit. The Loser Spirit loves infecting children with its own brand of poison. Its toxicity enters a child's life in the form of resentment. Once a child is in the clutches of the Loser Spirit, it is difficult to extract them.
This is why it is important to recognize the situations which leave your child vulnerable to the Loser Spirit in the first place. Of course, there are way more than just 7 situations which can infect your child with the Loser Spirit. I based my informal research on both my personal observations as well as interviewing parents on this subj…

Photo Op: Yet Even More Steps

Last month, I decided to post my blogs on a daily basis. In addition, said blogs would center around a cell phone photo which yours truly snapped herself. At the time, it seemed like such a huge undertaking.
Admittedly, the first week of daily posting kind of sucked. It took me two hours to hone a 100 word essay. I was also self-conscious about my abilities (or lack thereof) as a photographer.
Now, I am taking my writing up to another level by actively submitting articles to other online publications. 
Part of me wants to remain at the bottom of the steps, cocooned in the safety of my own blog.Yet, the allure of expanding my readership inspires me to keep on climbing.

Photo Op: Staying Within the Lines

I am not a conformist by nature.  During my childhood, I tried so hard to put up a facade of being like everyone else.  I was the kid whom enjoyed coloring for the heck of it. I never paid attention to the lines in the coloring book. My objective was to  transform a plain page into a wild spectrum of color!  
These days, I am proud say that for the most part, I have retained most of my trademark non-conformist ways. I just rock my Bougie Girlness and hope for the best!

Photo Op: Blackout

Due to Hurricane Irene, I spent almost all of yesterday and most of today without power.  The first few hours of the blackout, I caught up on my huge stack of reading. Afterwards, I took a long  nap and enjoyed the feel of cool breezes on my skin.
Later in the evening, I capped off the evening tossing back a few adult beverages and  hanging out with friends.
I am happy to report that my power was restored earlier tonight.

Photo Op: Straying From the Path

Last Fall, I started walking a new and much-needed path. Yet,  along the way  I have been tempted to take a break from my new found enlightenment. I try to convince myself that it is alright to stray from the path for a little awhile. After all, I am not racing anyone else.
This is my path and I call the shots here. My rebellious streak last for about a day. After my metaphysical mini-meltdown, I get back on the path and keep it moving.

Photo Op: Come to My Table...

Today, I am hosting a friend for lunch.
The menu will consist of the following:
Main Course Grilled cheese sandwich with provolone, turkey, and prosciutto served on a toasted wheat bagel thin. Sides Red leafed salad served with sliced Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped Spanish onions, and shredded mozzarella cheese drizzled with a balsamic and lime dressing. Tater tots marinated in lemon juice and ginger Dessert Slice Beverage Chilled ginger ale

Photo Op: Watching the World Pass By

From this park bench, I bear witness to  tourists clutching maps and orienting themselves to the labyrinth like streets of my quaint seaside town. They have come to this  place seeking peace from the bigger cities south of here. Alas, these tourists are too busy sight-seeing, dining in trendy cafes, and tromping through the shopping districts to truly enjoy the serenity of this town. 

Photo Op: Unripened

Gardening reminds us that everything happens in its own time. The tomato plants pictured here are not going to instantly ripen because we need them to. They are going to do it when they are ready.
 It is no different with the people in our lives. We cannot force/manipulate/guilt others into permanently changing before they are prepared to do so.  It has to be their decision. Even after they make the decision, it is still up to them to walk the challenging road to permanent change.
We can cheer them on from the sidelines, but we cannot walk the path for them.

Photo Op: Full Bloom

This flower encapsulates exactly where I am right now in my life. I am in full bloom mode. Love is radiating all around me!

Photo Op: Mental Clarity is Your Friend

You can rock even the most dysfunctional situation if you have mental clarity about it. It is when you try to delude yourself about the crappiness of any given situation that things have a tendency to fall apart. 
How can you make the best of a less than ideal situation if you refuse to acknowledge the crappy elements of it?  
Please note that there is a difference between acknowledging something and dwelling on it. I admit that my problem-solving mind has a tendency to dwell on a situation in an attempt to fix it.
 Alas, recently I learned the hard way that some of the best solutions derive from simply acknowledging a problem, experiencing the fall out from it, and accepting the inevitable lesson.
I witnessed first-hand how my tendency to constantly fix and problem-solve was blocking me from learning valuable life lessons. Unfortunately, I was also obstructing others from their true destiny as well.
My arrival at this painful truth yielded an unexpected bounty. Stepping back from my probl…

Photo Op: Upside Down

My first impression as I took a photo of this chair was that it was broken beyond repair. However, upon closer inspection, I realized that it was indeed fixable. One of the legs just needed to be repaired and the seat re-attached. Hmm. Not so bad after all.
Sometimes, life will hurl you through unexpected and unpleasant stuff that frankly sucks!
You take care of your health and you still get diagnosed with cancer, you give it your all at work and they still lay you off. You give a significant other your best and the relationship still fails. Failure and tragedy are an inevitable part of life. Still, there are powerful lessons and growth opportunities to be found in unpleasant situations

Photo Op: Prisons of Our Own Making

We desperately wish to escape from our emotional prison cell...kinda. We know that our regular habit of crawling up into a bottle of whiskey to temporarily erase all of the crappy elements of life is counterproductive.
 Yet, on some level we thwart our own chances of escape. The prison door swings open and we refuse to leave our cell. We make up excuses for why we need to stay incarcerated just a little bit longer. We stay locked in Loser Spirit situations, we find reasons not heal in therapy, we hang onto outmoded versions of ourselves, and we avoid anyone whom challenges us on our BS.
I suggest we make our prison cell as comfy as possible. Why get defensive about staying in our self-created lock up? Why not just own up to the fact that there are some perks to living in a self-created prison?
Here are a few advantages to residing in a prison of our own making:
1. We never have to emotional grow. We get to retain the maturity level of an adolescent. (Woo-hoo!) 2. We hold everyone else acco…

Photo Op: Hitting the Wall

Eventually, we all hit the proverbial brick wall during our life's journey. Sometimes,  this brick wall gets the better of us and we give up completely. In addition, we lash out to anyone whom will listen about the unfairness of life and grouse about the lack of anything good in our lives.
We forget that brick walls are not insurmountable. In some instances, brick walls can be easily scaled or we could simply chart another course which leads us around them entirely.
In the long run brick walls offer up the opportunuty to grow as a person and gain a new perspective about what we truly value in life.

Photo Op: Born to Fly!

I first learned to fly on a swingset in my hometown. I recall pumping my skinny little legs hard in effort to go as high as possible.  Sometimes, I would reach the zenith of height and jump out of the swing landing on all fours. It was such a heady rush, especially for an 8 year old seeking to escape a not so happy homestead.

The Loser Spirit Series: Introduction

The Loser Spirit Series by Bougie Girl Apparel

Recently, I had a long discussion with a good friend of mine about the reasons why some of us are unable to overcome the negativity from our pasts. I made the argument that it is completely up to the individual to move on from a crappy past and step into a  brighter future. My friend countered that it is difficult for many people to move on, because they are wrestling with a Loser Spirit which they carry with them everywhere. 
According to my friend, it is not  so easy to get rid of the Loser Spirit. It takes a whole lot of determination, inner strength, and discipline to completely exorcise it from one's life.
After our conversation, I began to review the not so bright moments of my own past. I have spent most my life being a warrior, but I recalled  during  most of my 20's there were elements of the Loser Spirit prevalent in my life.
During that time, I was also attracting needy and toxic men into my realm. I was so wrapped up …

Photo Op: The Beauty of Strength

The sunflower's beauty has everything to do with its regal bearing. You can sense the inner strength radiating off of her. The sunflower knows how to handle herself in any situation. Throw an unexpected crisis her way and she is making the best of it with a smile in her heart.
The sunflower is a shining example of the beauty that comes with strength. I guess that it is no coincidence this is the state flower of Kansas.
Some of the strongest women I know are from there...

Photo Op: The Link Between Love and Self-Respect

I used to gripe about dating men whom made me choose between self-respect and being in a relationship with them. In the end, I always chose self-respect.  
Yet, sometimes in  more vulnerable moments... I second-guessed my decision.
Perhaps, being in a toxic relationship was better than being single.
What was wrong with me that I would choose to be alone, instead of happily flaunting a toxic relationship like others in my social circle?
Staying in the toxic relationship would have guaranteed a date on Saturday night and a +1 on a RSVP response.
Yet, in order to do so, I would have to pack away my self-respect.
Ultimately, not worth the sacrifice.

Photo Op: Tethered

This tree is not yet strong enough to stand on its own. Hence, the support rods on either side. Perhaps, in a couple of years it will not need to be supported in the same way.
 I wonder if the two posts on the other side will try to sabotage the tree in hopes of keeping it tethered to them.
Will the tree let an overwhelming sense of guilt keeping prevent it from growing in the way that it needs to in order to thrive sans the support posts?
Maybe, the two support posts will bow out gracefully after their work with the tree is complete.
Will the tree  create situations in which the two posts have to constantly rescue it?

Bougie Girl In The Kitchen: Snack Plate Equation

Sundays are my domestic day. I throw on some tunes and proceed to clean my apartment and cook up meals for the week. All of that domesticity can make me work up an appetite!
However, gobbling down a huge meal would have sent me to Dreamland.
Instead, I opted to go the snack plate route!
The strawberries were sweet, the celery crisp, and the sharpness of the cheddar cheese more than satisfied my hunger.
Strawberries+ celery+extra sharp cheddar cheese=Yummy goodness!

The Frenemies Series: 7 Insights on Neediness

This is the third installment of The Frenemies Series. I started this series discussing the destructiveness of Delusion. In the second installment,  I talked about the pitfalls of Insecurity. Now, I am going to lay it on the line about Neediness. I based this list on both personal observations and a very informal/unscientific poll which I conducted. I also realize that there are WAY more than 7 insights on Neediness.

However, for the purposes of  "The Frenemies Series", I have chosen to explore the following insights on Neediness:
1. Neediness shows up during childhood 2. Warning: Do not feed neediness! 3. Neediness stunts emotional growth 4. Neediness is not trustworthy 5. Neediness does not love you...she needs you 6. Neediness places you in harm's way 7. Co-signing on Neediness can lock you down for life
1. Neediness shows up during childhood Neediness makes her first appearance during childhood, typically after a tragedy such as death, illness, or even divorce. She h…

Photo Op: Getting to the Other Side

During the 1st grade, I considered the jungle gym the scariest piece of equipment on the playground. My long crazy long spider arms which helped me  rebound against taller kids during pickup basketball games were a detriment to me on the jungle gym.
My spider arms kept getting tangled up during my attempts to cross from one side of the jungle gym to the other. As a result, I always had to jump down midway through my attempts to cross the jungle gym.
For awhile, I gave up on ever being able to be a rock star on the jungle gym. One day, I happened to watch one of my taller classmates cross the jungle gym. She had long arms like I did, yet they were not getting tangled up as she crossed the jungle gym. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that she was skipping rungs and using the momentum from her wingspan to successfully get across it.
 A light bulb went off in my head. I jumped up and got back in the line for the jungle gym. When my turn came up, I employed the same method of crossing the …

Photo Op: Perspective

Sometimes, I am still amazed that I live in New England. My journey here was spontaneous and exciting, yet filled with a whole bunch of life lessons! Despite it all, I am enjoying the tranquility of my seaside town.
Admittedly, there have been times in which I have longed for the kaleidoscope sunsets of the Southwest, the down home food of Kansas, and the glamour of my previous existence on the West Coast.
Still, there is an indescribable quaintness about New England which inspires me to snap photos and ruminate on life in general.

Photo Op: Forest of Forgiveness

The path to forgiveness is not always clear cut. Sometimes, you have to enter the proverbial Forest of Forgiveness with a backpack of supplies to sustain your spirit and a machete to cut through the emotional foliage.
I entered the Forest of Forgiveness late last Fall. I recall hesitating at its entrance. My journey to forgiveness required me to get over myself and recognize my role in the situation.
The first months in the Forest of Forgiveness were beyond difficult. I had to get rid a whole bunch of hidden emotional baggage. It was only after I cleared it all out that I was able to focus on both granting and seeking forgiveness. 

Photo Op: Bundled Together

Letting go of  unhealthy situations is rarely easy. Especially, as it applies to relationships and situations which are no longer serving us. The longer we stay bundled together, the more difficult it becomes to move on from the situation. Sometimes, we mistake being tied together  by shared history, children, and/or career as a barometer of deep feelings. 
Generally, people stay in familiar situations out of fear and convenience. However, remove those elements and the situation considerably alters. In other words, remove the proverbial string and on a windy day watch those branches pictured above scatter in all directions.
After the winds die down, only the frayed binding remains in the same place. You run back and clutch onto the string for dear life. You attempt to gather up all of the branches in a desperate attempt of binding them together with the frayed string. Yet, some of the branches have broken and their jagged pieces both cut and pierce your skin.
Still, you frantically try…

Photo Op: Unexpected Fireworks

All it takes is a spark and a little  heat and BAM you have got fireworks!  Your eyes meet across the room and instantly you know that he is going to become an important part of your life. It may not happen right way...but, it will happen. Are you prepared for the combustion?

Photo Op: Protection for the Journey

Right before I relocated from California to New Mexico, my dear Japanese neighbor/little brother gave me this amulet for protection. He explained to me the importance of being protected on one's journey. His mother had given it to him  for protection before he moved to the United States.  I have carried this amulet in my wallet for nearly three years. It has been with me for two house moves, joy, heartbreak, and everything in between!

Photo Op: Steps to Healing

I have reached the point in my healing journey where it is time to step up onto higher ground. I could probably jump the steps two at a time and move onto the next part of the journey. However, these steps are not ordinary ones. All of them represent a key aspect of my grieving process. In the span of six months, I endured the breakup of my engagement, a miscarriage, and my father's death.
I have gone through relationship breakups before. I would cry for a couple months, listen to uplifting music, take a few of foreign language classes, and start dating again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. I suffered my first miscarriage during my sophomore year of college. I did not even know that I was pregnant until I started to miscarry in the dorms. It was scary and traumatic. I was 19 years old, but  somehow I got through it.
By the age of 25, I mourned the deaths of at least fifteen loved ones. Six of the deaths were suicides. The sadness of losing all of those people almost took me under more than a…

The Frenemies Series: 7 Major Pitfalls of Insecurity

In my initial Frenemies post, I discussed the way in which Delusion can take you down a very lonely road. This post is all about the treacherous scalawag known as Insecurity. Insecurity offers up comfortable lodgings at a very high price. It promises to never to abandon you in your time of need.
Yet, Insecurity is harboring a perilous secret. It is not truly the answer to all of your problems. In fact, as time goes on you will notice how many problems are compounded by the bullying nature of Insecurity. 
I based this list on both personal observations and a very informal/unscientific poll which I conducted.
I realize that there are  WAY more than 7 pitfalls of Insecurity.  However, for the purposes of "The Frenemies Series", I have chosen to work from a narrowed down list. (I plan on addressing the different aspects of Insecurity in more depth and detail in the future.)
Insecurity about your shortcomings can cause you to lash out at others whom embody what you lack. Insecu…